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Results[]

Round One

Poll3470

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 3470
Division 2004-2006
Match # 25
Match Date Friday, May 1st, 2009
Oracle


Expectations

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - 30.94%
God of War - 26.40%
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - 24.54%
Tales of Symphonia - 17.93%
GameFAQs


Expectations

Oblivion first place (2pts) - 15.78%
Oblivion second place (1pt) - 28.14%
Symphonia second place (2pts) - 10.25%
Symphonia first place (1pt) - 5.85%
Advancing
Prediction
Oblivion - 43.92% (16,820)
Tales of Symphonia - 16.10% (6,166)

This was basically the best match of the entire contest from a personal level and a match-that-kicks-ass level. As for why? All you need to know here is the consensus pick was San Andreas > God of War, with some outside support for Oblivion getting second place over God of War. That's it. No mention of Tales of Symphonia doing anything, because its characters more or less suck ass in character contests. Even KP, a huge backer of San Andreas > Oblivion tried talking himself up for Andreas > Tales and could not. No logical reason for it.

But then the match began, and all holy hell broke loose. But before the actual numbers, let me take a moment to explain something. You know Board 8 is Nintendo Central? Take that fanboyism, multiply it by 10 and you get Board 8 when Tales of Symphonia came out. The game was flat-out HUGE here. So when we finally got another game contest, with Tales in it, we went INSANE when Tales was winning early. All bets and bracket favoritism were off. We wanted Tales to do well. We all figured Tales was just getting the board vote before an ultimate collapse, but it lead by 50 votes at the freeze. And at 10 minutes, the lead actually went UP! And it kept on going up, all the way to 225 votes within an hour in a poll where every game would break 23%. That is amazing.

This lead would slowly dissipate overnight, but not to the game we all thought would get first place. Remember how San Andreas > God of War was the consensus pick, with Oblivion in second place as an outside upset? Well lost in all the early Tales of Symphonia hoopla was what was going on with the other three games. For the second time in three matches, Grand Theft Auto embarrassed itself. San Andreas, the game we all expected would score first place (not due to GTA being trustworthy, but due to the other games supposedly being weak), was actually the first game to play itself out of contention in this match. It fell behind pace the first, and would eventually fade away into a fairly easy last place. Its final score was very respectable of course, but it never really threatened anything. If I recall correctly, this was the only time all contest a consensus first place pick finished in last place. This is of course GTA on the whole falling off the map, but it's really weird thinking of Vice City as the only game in the 3/VC/SA trio to advance this contest. After 3 and San Andreas lost, GTA4 was the only game left to potentially do anything besides Vice City. The overall GTA collapse is rapidly happening before our eyes every contest, but no one saw even this coming. San Andreas was considered far and away the strongest GTA title, but I guess we were wrong.

With GTA out, this left Oblivion and ToS battling for first, with consensus second place God of War trailing not too far behind in third place. Oblivion would eventually take the lead from Tales of Symphonia overnight, and would not let it go for the rest of the match. In the end, Oblivion's steady rise allowed it to win the match outright by 2100 votes, in a match in which Oblivion getting second place would have been a huge upset special. Oblivion was not only legit, but was an outright contender after this.

This ultimately leads us back to how second place was won. Tales of Symphonia lost its early lead to Oblivion and Oblivion eventually won. We get all that. But as ToS was letting Oblivion fly on by, God of War was trailing behind in a very close third place and also threatening ToS's leads. Oblivion took the lead for good from ToS around 3:00 a.m. EST, and around this time God of War was losing to ToS for second place by 300 votes. Given how well casual action games do during day votes, 300 votes was nothing for God of War to potentially make up in 21 hours of poll.

Sure enough, God of War began chipping away at the lead, against a game that more or less shared trends with it. It began chipping away during the dead hours, built up a tiny bit of steam once the early morning vote hit, then got locked into an eternal stall with Tales of Symphonia once the morning vote hit full stride. The lead got under 100 at 7:30 in the morning. It took three hours of progressive stalling from both sides for God of War to shave that 100 down to taking second place position for the first time, which happened at 10:30.

After all that fighting, God of War finally managed a degree of control in the match and began one of those prolonged stall lead increases. At 10:30, its lead began at 9 votes. It then began a very, very pain-staking process of lead increases in the face of multiple ToS stalls, with its lead ultimately peaking at 400 votes around 5:00 p.m. EST.

For Tales of Symphonia, the game that started the poll on fire and forced two games to fight like hell to get it out of first place and ultimately to third, it seemed like its time was done. Trend-wise, Tales of Symphonia was behaving like a Nintendo game: strong first hour, weak overnight, strong morning vote, strong after school vote. The problem here is God of War was equally or more strong than ToS in all those voting blocks save the Power Hour. During the morning vote and ASV, the best Tales could do was a lot of stalls in the face of an overall lead increase in God of War's favor. But now the ASV was winding down to an end, ToS had given its best effort and like most Nintendo games, would have an evening and second night votes similar to the first night vote -- essentially meaning Tales of Symphonia was screwed. When you behave like a Nintendo game all match, you don't miraculously switch trends and come back 400 votes on a game that will only get stronger as the match nears the end.

And yet inexplicably, suddenly, even miraculously, Tales of Symphonia caught fire after 5:00 p.m. It dropped to 300 by 5:20. 40 minutes later, 300 had become 200. Before God of War could even recover from the blitz of the last 70 minutes, it was bleeding percentage and votes all over the poll. Tales of Symphonia was back on its ass, and hard. God of War tried the best it could to stall Tales of Symphonia away, but it was not to be. By 7, the lead was down to 100.

And right on cue, Tales of Symphonia took its lead back just past 8. God of War made one last stand and fought against Tales building a lead, but God of War ran out of gas for good at 9 o'clock. It stalled Tales whenever possible, but the last three hours of this poll was a slow grind up to a 280 vote lead for Tales, with God of War cutting 50 votes off of this lead before poll's end.

It was a complete and total collapse on God of War's part, because this match was over GoW was putting Tales away with the ASV, then all of a sudden the ASV flipped dead around and buried God of War within a few hours. More shocking here was how Nintendo games generally don't do well in the evening and second night votes, while Kratos trends upwards all the way through to the end of the match. How Tales of Symphonia pulled this off in the face of these trends is just beyond me.

It's not something that can at all be explained, I'll just say this was a beautiful match to watch. Four games breaking 23% in a fourway poll, the consensus first place pick coming in last place, and Tales of Symphonia shocking the world all made this the best match of the contest. This was like a match before stats and trends and all that stuff. Just sit back, pick a favorite and root on. There's no real way to gauge potential strength from this match either, since all four games were so close. All could be strong, all could suck. Who really knows until later? Doesn't make this match any less awesome.

More awesome was the whining and cheating accusations following this. Some fake stats professor from Cornell (what a stupid internet gimmick) actually tried telling the board that this result was statistically impossible given the prediction percentages; they were too low for ToS, indicating cheating had to be involved in the final ToS push that won it second place over God of War.

Yes, because everyone with a bracket entered votes based on bracket and prediction percentages, and only people with a bracket ever get to vote on the main page. Good job, fake stats guy. Way to make a perfect match even better by acting like a whiny little ***** and giving us all something to laugh at for days afterward.

Interesting facts[]

  • Not surprisingly, this marks the closest four-way match in GameFAQs contest history. Never before has a fourth-place finisher broken 23%, nor has a first-place finisher been held under 27%.
  • Incidentally, both the record for highest fourth-place percentage and the record for lowest first-place percentage had just been set two days prior to this match, when Diablo II became the first entrant to win a four-pack with under 27.5% and GTA 3 became the first fourth-place finisher to break 22%.

Match Trends[]

Graph3470

Ngamer's Same Day Analysis[]

Match Prediction[]

Tonight is one of those rare matches that makes me appreciate how enjoyable R1 4way matches can be. Okay sure, none of these games are all that strong, but if the end result is a cluster of a foursome as wild as the one we saw two days ago, I can't say I mind! My fellow Crewmates have done a fine job of pointing out the pros and cons for all four games, but since this is the first time all season where I've honestly felt (pre-battle) that EVERY game has a good chance of advancing, I'm excited enough to add some bullet points of my own.

  • I've always been firm in my SA > VC > 3 > 4 belief, and I still stand by that. however we've already seen that when it came to the casual voters Halo was GTA's perfect poison, and I think there's a good chance GoW does something similar. so I'd be VERY surprised if GTA ran away with this one, and could easily see it falling to second
  • DMC not managing to get a single game into the bracket (come on, even MEGA MAN got three!) really shook my faith in action titles on this site, and has been pointed out it would just make sense for Kratos to be >> GoW in the same way that Dante >> DMC. I did still end up taking God of War in my bracket, but that was only out of a total lack of respect for TES. but now...
  • you've got to be more than a little scared of Oblivion after seeing that Morrowind showing, don't you? okay so it was only 17%, but that nearly doubled Silent Hill (which shouldn't be pathetically weak in this format) and that was just a crazy-powerful 4 pack all around, PLUS it was having to contend with the most dominant RPG of the past 11 years. when you consider that Oblivion beats Morrowind in pretty much every area and that TES once again gets the advantage of being the only Xbox or PC option, you've got to love its chances to place (or very possibly win outright). sorry, bracket!
  • as much as I despise everything Tales Of not even I can count this game out entirely. Lloyd and ToS in general seem to be able to put up 20%ish pretty consistently, and with no one here being a powerhouse and the Nintendo/non-American sore thumb advantage, it certainly has some things working in its favor. but, we ALWAYS say this about ToS, and it ALWAYS finds a way to come up just short. I've been stung by that dumb game too many times to let it happen again- kill it, kill it!

BOLD prediction: expect another super cool start near the 25/25/25/25 mark for this one, thanks to ToS's strong B8 support and GTA being so weak in the first couple hours. But when the dust settles, here are the percentages you're going to see:

  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - 30.50%
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - 27.47%
  • God of War - 22.42%
  • Tales of Symphonia - 19.61%

You can bet on it! (just... don't ask me for a repayment afterwards)

Next Day Review[]

Haha, yet another awesome match. People keep bashing these close ones with all this "all the options are weak, weeeeeak!" kind of talk, but I say "meh" to that. I mean these polls are still drawing a very nice 120k votes so it's not as though the site doesn't care whatsoever about the games. I just wish we could have seen some of these supposedly "weak" games go up against some of the classics of the past, like your Super Metroids or your Tetrises, so we could have gotten a real reading on where they stand. But anyways, yeah, I'm still absolutely shocked by that ASV... how does GoW do NOTHING with it when Kratos is one of the biggest afternoon studs we've seen? How does Oblivion continue to win despite being a semi-cultish RPG? And how does SA- alright, alright, so we've already beaten that horse to death. *gives GTA one last kick for good measure* And of course it's pretty funny to see ToS pulling a Phoenix Wright here and holding off the casual choice with a steady couple hundred barrier... yes sir, 4ways can certainly make for enjoyable R1 outings!

External Links[]

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2009 Spring Contest Matches

Round One
Tetris > Donkey Kong
MM2 > Pac-Man
SMB > Ninja Gaiden
Zelda 1 > Metroid
Sonic 1 > SFII
SMB3 > Monkey Island
SMW > FF
FFIV > MM3
S.Metroid > SMK
Zelda:LttP > DKC
FFVI > Zelda:LA
Sonic 2 > MKII
GE007 > SMRPG
FFVII > MK64
SM64 > SotN

CT > Yoshi's Island
Pokémon RBY > Zelda:MM
MGS > Pokémon GS
FFVIII > Starcraft
Zelda: OoT > FFIX
FFX > MGS2
KH > GTA:VC
Diablo II > Halo
SSBM > Zelda:WW
Oblivion > ToS
MGS3 > WoW
RE4 > KHII
Zelda: TP > Half-Life 2
SSBB > GTAIV
CoD4 > SMG
MGS4 > Portal
Fallout 3 > Halo 3

Round Two
Tetris > MM2
SMB > Zelda 1
SMB3 > Sonic 1
SMW > FF IV
Zelda:LttP > S.Metroid
FFVI > Zelda:LA
FFVII > GE007
SM64 > CT
MGS > Pokémon RBY
Zelda:OoT > FFVIII
FFX > KH
SSBM > Diablo II
MGS3 > Oblivion
Zelda:TP > RE4
SSBB > CoD4
MGS4 > Fallout 3

R3 and following
SMB > Zelda 1
SMB3 > SMW
Zelda:LttP > FFVI
FFVII > SM64
Zelda:OoT > Pokémon RBY
SSBM > FFX
Zelda:TP > RE4
SSBB > MGS4
SMW > SMB3
FFVII > Zelda:LttP
Zelda:OoT > FFX
MGS4 > SSBB
FFVII > Zelda:LttP
Zelda:OoT > FFX
Zelda:OoT > FFVII (Finals)
Zelda:OoT > FFVII (Bonus)

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